Until the Mets acquire a frontline starting pitcher to pitch after Johan Santana, then The Mets will continue to be pretenders in the NL East. The Number one reason the team didn't make the World Series in 2006, and collapsed in 2007, and 2008 was directly due to their lack of quality front of the rotation starting pitching. This put a strain on the bullpen. And unnecessary pressure on the back of the rotation starters. Every big market team should have at least a legitimate 1-2 punch at the front of the rotation. A good five man rotation should give a team close to 1000 innings and approximately 65-70 wins. The last time The Mets had a deep starting staff was in 2000. That team was anchored by Al Leiter, Mike Hampton, and Rick Reed. They also had a good bullpen during those years. The Mets can no longer afford to hope everything goes right. While both talented, past performance tells us that Oliver Perez has only started 30 games twice in eight years, while winning 15 games only once and John Maine has had only one 30 start season to his credit while never cracking 200 innings. Why should we reasonably expect that things should change in 2010? We shouldn't. Yes, the Wilpons do spend near the top in NL money every year but not enough has been invested in front of the rotation pitching. We need some sure things. I just don't know where we are going to find them. If not thru a trade then the Mets should closely examine the medical reports on the likes of a Ben Sheets or Chien-Ming Wang and hope to catch lightning in a bottle.